How to Lighten Dark Upper Lips Fast

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Dark upper lips is a common problem for most women especially those with naturally darker skin tone. Upper lip may refer to the skin above the lip or the upper lip itself. It can be annoying and detrimental to a person’s self-esteem.

In this topic, we discuss:

  • Some of the causes of dark upper lips
  • Whether you should wax or bleach dark upper lip
  • Treatment and how to get rid of dark upper lips fast and naturally at home

Cause of dark lips

Dark spots, patches or blotches on upper lip can be very annoying. Though harmless, in some cases they could be a sign of an underlying condition.

Some common cause of dark skin on upper lip and dark upper lip will include the following:

  1. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of the skin as a result of increased melanin production. This condition can be caused by sun damage, inflammation, and other skin injuries. This condition is common in people with a dark skin tone.
  2. Excess exposure to the sun is the main cause of hyperpigmentation in a light skinned individual. This is not a onetime thing, the extent of sun damage depends largely on a person’s skin color and his or her history of sun exposure.
  3. Sun damage and allergies according to mayo clinic is a term used to describe a number of conditions in which an itchy red rash occurs on the skin due to exposure to sunlight.
    It is also known as sun poisoning. Some people have hereditary types of sun allergies while in others it can be triggered by the use of certain medication.
  4. Dehydration: dehydrated skin will often appear dull and darker. It may also feel tight and uncomfortable. A dehydrated skin can be aggravated by one’s external environment.
  5. Hirsutism is defined as the abnormal growth of hair on a woman’s face and body. Hair growing on the upper lips can look like a mustache.
    Generally, the amount of body hair one has will be determined by their genetic makeup. The condition arises from excess male hormones known as androgens.
  6. Melisma also known as chloasma faciei or the mask of pregnancy. It is common in women during pregnancy. Melisma is known to cause dark discolored patches on the skin.
    The actual cause of this condition is unknown. Dark skinned individuals are likely to be affected.
  7. Smoking and taking too much coffee are also possible causes of dark upper lips.

Dark spots on lip cancer

Dark spots on lips could also be a sign of lip cancer.  By definition, lip cancer is abnormal cells that grow out of control, forming lesions or tumor on the lips. Lip cancer is a common form of oral cancer. It develops in thin fatty cells called squamous cells.

Smoking, excess exposure to the sun, alcohol consumption and tanning all increase the risk of having this type of cancer. This is according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Dark cancer spots on lips can easily be noticed by your dentist during a routine medical checkup. When diagnosed at an early stage, lip cancer is highly curable. Common signs and symptoms of lip cancer will include the following:

  • Blister, sore, lump or bump on lip and around the mouth
  • White or red patches
  • Swollen Jaw
  • Bleeding and pain on the jaw

After diagnosis, your healthcare provider may prescribe a surgical procedure, radiation therapy or a chemical therapy where chemical drugs are prescribed to kill the cancerous cells. As with other cancer treatment, the most effective treatment option will depend on:

  • The stage the cancer is in
  • How far it has progressed and
  • The general health of the patient

For those not affected, you can minimize the risk of having a lip cancer by avoiding the use of tobacco products, excessive alcohol intake, and limiting your exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun. You can do this by always wearing a high UV blocking sunscreen.

Dark lip treatment

Treating dark lips will often vary depending on what the underlying cause is. For serious cases such as cancer, early treatment and diagnosis may be required.

Apart from assisting in the effective treatment of cancer, early diagnosis will also help minimize the risk of complication and spreading cancer to other parts.

Cancer treatment may involve surgical removal of the cancerous cell on the upper lip, radiation therapy where high UV rays are used to destroy the cancerous cells and chemical therapy which involves the use of strong chemical drugs.

When the underlying cause of the dark upper lip is hirsutism, treatment may include oral contraceptives, anti-androgen drugs, and topical creams to slow new hair growth.

When treating hyperpigmentation caution must be used because any trauma to the skin can further post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The most used treatment options in cases of hyperpigmentation are chemical peels, laser removal or a combination of both.

Wearing high UV blocking sunscreen can help minimize the sun damage on your skin. You will also need to cut your consumption of alcohol, and use of tobacco products.

Symptoms of dark upper lips

Dark upper lips will often be characterized by the following appearance:

1. Dark spot on upper lip looks like mustache

Dark spots on lips are common in women especially their menstrual cycle and during pregnancy. In women, a dark pigment on upper lip that looks like a mustache is often a sign of melisma. This condition is triggered by hormones.

Melisma is a common skin problem. It often affects the face causing brown dark patches. Most people are also affected on the cheeks, bridge of their nose, foreheads and above the lips. Melisma in pregnancy is commonly referred to as “the mask of pregnancy”

When the cause of the dark lips is melisma, one of the most effective treatment options is sun protection. This involves wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying it every two hours.

Dermatologist also recommends wearing a wide-brimmed hat every time you are out in the sun.

2. Dark skin on upper lip

Technically, there is a difference between dark upper lip and dark skin on the upper lip. In pregnant women and those on chemical contraceptives, it is common for one to notice the skin above the upper lips turn dark or develop some dark marks, spots or patches. This will often look like a mustache.

Sun damage and excess exposure to the sun are often the most common causes of dark skin above the lip. In men, poor hair removal method is often a common cause of the dark pigmentation. This condition is rarely harmful.

There are both chemical and natural home remedies you can use to lighten the skin and get rid of the dark spots or blotches. For starts, you can use lemon juice or apply a sugar scrub at least twice a day for a month.

See your doctor if the patches fail to clear or start spreading to other parts of your face.

3. Dark shadow on upper lip

A dark shadow on upper lips is what is commonly referred to as a lady mustache. It is common in women especially during pregnancy, it is belied to be a result of fluctuating level of chemical hormone that occurs during pregnancy.

Skin lightening creams can be a great way to get rid of dark shadow on upper lips. Apart from the creams, there is also some effective lightening soap you can use to lighten the dark shadow.

4. Dark pigment on upper lip

Dark pigments are common in women especially those who stay in the tanning booths for long. Other causes of the dark pigmentation will include excess exposure to the sun and hormonal changes that may affect the optimal production of melanin that gives the dark skin color.

To prevent the dark pigmentation, ensure you are wearing a high UV blocking sunscreen anytime you are heading out. You can use concealer and lip primer to hide the pigment while seeking the most effective treatment option to get rid of the dark pigments.

5. Dark line on upper lip

A dark line on upper lip can be a result of your epilation methods. This is especially common in those who wax or threat the mustache. The dark line can be aggravated by excess exposure to the sun and development of ingrown hair.

To stop this, avoid using harsh hair removal methods. You can also use skin lightening creams and concealers to hide the dark line when going out in the public.

Should you wax or bleach dark upper lip?

The decision of whether to wax or bleach can be a tough one for most people. Though aggressive, waxing is considered an effective way of getting rid of dark spots or blotches on skin. Waxing can also be painful and on some occasion, one can end up with a flashy or irritated skin.

In cases where the dark spots are caused by ingrown hair, then waxing is considered the most effective option.  According to NHS, skin lightening or bleaching is a cosmetic procedure aimed at lightening dark areas of the skin. When used on dark upper lips, it can help achieve a generally paler skin tone.

Bleaching is often used to improve the appearance of blemishes such as birthmarks and melisma which as said are dark spots on skin.  It works by reducing the concentration or production of melanin in the skin.

Melanin is the pigment that gives the dark coloring to the skin. It also protects your skin from harmful UV rays that can damage your skin or cause cancer. Both waxing and bleaching will help get rid of the dark spot, blemish or blotches on skin.

See Also:

How to get rid of dark lip

Depending on the extent of the darkness, the following options can be used to lighten and get rid of dark lips:

1. Chemical peels

Chemical peels are liquids brushed on to the skin to remove dead skin cells and stimulate growths of new cells. The aim of a chemical peel is to improve the appearance of the skin. There are three types of chemical peel.

Superficial and medium peels are usually safe when administered correctly deeper peels, on the other hand, are riskier. Common risk includes permanent lightening of the skin, scarring or picking up an infection.

2. Skin-lightening creams

Skin lightening creams can also be used to lighten and get rid of dark upper lips. Most of these creams are available on prescription but some are available over the counter.

Skin lightening cream contains hydroquinone or corticosteroids. Poor use of lightening cream can have serious side effects. For that reason, make sure you check what ingredients a cream has before using.  Lightening creams containing mercury can be very dangerous.

3. Laser treatment

Laser treatment can also be used to lighten blemishes and dark patches. This procedure works by removing the outer layer of the skin or damaging the cells that produce melanin.

Laser treatment can be quite valuable to some people but in others, it may not have any effect. The cost of laser treatment may vary widely from one practitioner to the other.

How to lighten upper lip skin fast, naturally

Dark upper lips and dark skin on upper lips are common conditions. Though harmless, a dark lip can be annoying and embarrass especially when appearing as a mustache on women.

Treating the underlying cause is the best way to get rid of the dark spots, blotches or patches. There are however some natural ways you can use to naturally lighten dark lips fast at home.

Most effective options include:

a) Lightening dark upper lip with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive way to bleach and get rid of dark spots and blotches on lighten your lip with hydrogen peroxide:

  • Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with water to dilute it
  • Use a clean cotton ball to gently apply the mixture on the dark skin
  • Leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing off
  • Do this twice daily to speed up the lightening process

b) Bleaching with lemon juice

Lemon juice has great bleaching properties. Apart from lightening your dark skin, lemon juice will also help exfoliate your skin thus eliminating dirt and dead skin cells.

  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice in a cup
  • Using a clean cotton ball, gently apply the juice on your upper lip
  • Repeat this at least twice daily

C) Sugar Scrub

Sugar is a great natural defoliant that can help get rid of dead skin cells and dirt that appear as dark spots on skin. To lighten your lip:

  • Prepare a paste of sugar by mixing water and sugar
  • Gently apply the paste on your lip and leave it on for some minutes
  • Rinse it off
  • Do this at least twice a day

d) Raw honey

You can also use raw honey to lighten your dark upper lips. To do that,

  • Gently apply raw honey on lips
  • Allow it to dry without peeling or licking it off, you can allow it to stay overnight
  • Rinse it with cold water
  • Do this twice daily

e) Natural lightening mask

To lighten your ski at home, you can use a lightening mask made from gram flour, lemon juice, turmeric powder and raw honey.

  • Mix equal amounts of all these ingredients to achieve a fine paste
  • Apply the paste on your skin and leave it on for 30 minutes
  • Rinse the paste off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry


  1. National health services, skin lightening:
  2. How to lighten dark upper lip:
  3. Wikihow, how to lighten dark upper lips:
  4. Health line, Lip cancer, signs, and treatment:

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